Following the announcement of the NCPO that the Constitutional Referendum is to be held on August 7, various groups have expressed their views on Thailand’s draft constitution. Both pro- and anti-draft groups have been running campaigns and expressing their views in public. Unfortunately, however, the NCPO has not been welcoming of the views of both groups.
Thailand’s assimilation policy in the past 80 years on the Muslim Malay in Thailand’s three southern border provinces, known as Patani, has been repeatedly cited as one of the main reasons for the armed struggle, claiming almost 6500 lives already. Due to this uncompromising assimilation policy, the state of the Malay language in Patani has become very weak and marginalized. As the peace process has progressed, concerns about the linguistic rights of the local people have been raised and will be included in discussions at the dialogue table.
Local people are to be evicted in the name of development, as the Thai junta invokes its absolute power to clear land for the benefit of big businesses.
While Europe worries about trafficking and the so-called refugee crisis, Thai villagers are still building their hopes on women’s migration and labor abroad. Isaan-natives Sommai, Basit, Kae and Mong are married to Danish men and are all living in Denmark where they work as cleaners, in the fishing industry or other
Burin Intin, a 28-year-old welder from northern Thailand, was arrested during an anti-coup “Stand Still” protest, held on 27 April 2016, at the Victory Monument in Bangkok. Unlike other group members who were arrested and subsequently released, Burin was promptly charged with two counts of lèse majesté. He was denied bail, has been detained until today and is now on his third custody order, without much public knowledge.
To commemorate the first year of the the New Democracy Movement, the up and coming anti-junta youth activists, Prachatai reviewed the development and achievements of the movement during the past year. Talking to the prominent members of the group on the future direction of the movement, a co-leader claims that they are currently the national opposer of the junta.
Rungsira, pen-named Sirapop, has fighted the lèse majesté case in the military court for over two years. His story is littled known to the media. When he attorney asked if there were another coup and he were again summoned: “Would you go?” He replied: "If there were another coup and I was again summoned, I promise you: I would not go!”
In the near future, Thailand’s ubiquitous roadside beggars may completely disappear. Under the terms of a new Beggar Control Act, they will literally be “led off the footpaths.” The authorities say under the new law people will be given what they need without having to beg. The practicality of the bill remains a question.
To commemorate the second anniversary of the 2014 coup d’état, Prachatai presents interviews with some of those who had protested against the government and against elections, aka the PDRC, whose lives and political ideas have been changed under the junta. Branded as the ones who paved the way for the coup two years ago, they have now learned that it is better to have an elected government, even a ‘bad’ one, than a dictatorship.
Harit Mahaton, a man accused of sedition and lèse majesté -- very serious crimes that could land him in prison for decades -- has a distinct character. He has great interest in literature because, to him, it is a form of freedom.